People on poppers

 Photos Others Poppers
Photographer Ruth Bayer took a series of portraits of people while they were high on poppers. Of course, poppers refer to alkyl nitrites sold as room deodorizer or video head cleaner but used recreationally as a club drug or sex enhancer. Bayers published a book of the photos. From an interview with Dazed Digital, where you can see some of the portraits:
DD: What do you think is interesting about the visual effect of the drug?
Ruth Bayer: It makes people look very sexy – a lot of it is to do with the dilated eyes and increased sensual awareness the chemical causes.  

DD: Which are your favourite portraits?
Ruth Bayer: Most have a twinkle in the eye – it seems like there’s an unspoken invitation from the sitter to share the experience, or at least convey it to the viewer. The eyes become incredibly expressive – very odd. Not everyone looks like they were having a good time, but I can assure you they did!
Poppers Pictures



  1. When did Ben Kingsly get tattoos and a handlebar mustache?

    Seems like a good way to induce a heart attack to me. What’s next, “Happy Huffers”?

  2. They must not have chosen the best photos to include from the book. None of the ones here are sexy! Wasted maybe, but sexy? Not so much.

    I tried this stuff in high school and it was awful. Gave me a terrible head ache and the high was just gross -like a wave of being in ‘head rush’ state, in fact I think the brand we had was called ‘Rush’. It was awful.

    1. Gave me a terrible head ache and the high was just gross

      That would be the feeling of your brain cells dying… Poppers are baaaaaad.

      1. I guess so. But then that reminds me of the concept of ‘beer goggles’ which isn’t that great either. Whatever it takes for what you want I guess.

    1. “Concern trolls, start your engines.”
      … cause the douchebags are already through the first turn!

  3. Worst drug ever. Gets you high for about five minutes, followed by an hour of headache. Try nitrous oxide, at least it gives you a funny voice.

  4. Well of course club/sex drugs are bad, especially vasodilators. Did you know that Viagra is a vasodilator? Also terribly bad. Do not ever do that stuff. Also, ‘fun’ is terribly bad; you should have none of that, either.

    Seriously though, without poppers how am I supposed to get that guy’s fist up my butt?

    1. Is that the secret?! Someone I know told me she did that once with a previous boyfriend. I failed to ask for the details of what it took to accomplish but I’ve always sort of wondered. Never enough to bring it up again, because really how do you start a conversation like that?

      Poppers have never been popular with the people I hang out with so I’ve never tried them or even seen them in action. Reading up, they sound surprisingly not-dangerous…

      1. it’s not much of a secret anymore, now is it? Having small fists and lots of determination also helps. Man, I’m going to have my Gay Card revoked now.

        As far as being dangerous: I say they’re remarkably ephemeral. And if you’re getting a headache then you’re using the wrong kind. Caveat: If you’ve got -any- sort of heart issues or are taking other vasodilators then don’t f’in use poppers. Other than that, generally use caution like you would with any other club-drug. And they do make you look really, really goofy: do not let anyone take your photo while you’re high on them.

  5. That “twinkle in the eye” is the lame and poor use of a ringlight.
    Not sexy on anyone. Ever.

  6. That bald guy may be making some poor decisions, but growing that sweet ‘stache is not one of them.

  7. never done em, but i’m inclined to agree with the nitrous crowd, since nitrous oxide is virtually harmless (provided one does not asphyxiate by rebreathing) by comparison and somewhat more enjoyable (according to y’all).

  8. Ah, the predictability of comments on articles about drug use is like watching the sunrise on the internet – you know what’s going to happen, but you just can’t help but stare.

  9. The first time that I did poppers, the bottle was shoved under my nose by one of the founders of NAMBLA.

        1. #23,

          “Is there more than one?”


          Must be the National Association for Marlon Brando Look Alikes

  10. Poppers are popular in gay sex clubs. I’ve never seen them outside of that scene. I expected a little more from the pictures. I think a little snort of poppers can be a little bit sexy. I love poppers.

  11. I tried that stuff in high school as well. I don’t remember getting a headache from it. It basically sent my blood pressure through the roof for about thirty seconds, is my recollection.

    The people in those pictures all look very sweaty. Is that a function of the drug? It looks awful.

  12. I’ve never intentionally tried poppers myself, but considering how many people I fist, they come up now and then. I had a partner who loooooooved them.

    I was told, via the fact that I could smell them and got a nasty headache, that despite never having taken a huff, I tried ’em, and if so, I found them rather boring. Your nose can also get a little scabby if you don’t wipe off the top of the bottle first.

    The big thing with poppers, is that they relax the smooth musculature of the body – such as the anal sphincters and all that good stuff. It makes fisting easier. However, your heart, lungs, and other vital parts are *also* made of smooth muscle.

  13. I was really disappointed with that stuff when I tried it when I was 17. Was I expecting too much from it or supposed to be looking for more subtle effects? It just made my blood throb in my ears for a few seconds.

  14. Exactly none of these people look particularly sexy. They do, however, look kind of stupid and doped up.

    I’m embarrassed enough by the drunk shots, I don’t think I’d ever let somebody take popper pictures of me.

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